sanARTity

As someone who has never been to a contemporary art museum, I accepted the chance to London’s Tate Modern during my trip there on the weekend.

The first thing that caught my attention was a project where they took soil from various places and just watered and gave it sunlight. The point was to have the piece be totally unpredictable and unregulated, akin to just letting go of the reins and let the horses take you wherever.

Some patches had weeds, some had plants I’ve never seen before (to be fair, I don’t know much about plants). It got me thinking about… not much. I just thought it was cool, marveled at the engineering behind it and hoped that perhaps someone would throw some pretty flower seeds and let it grow. This was one.

Next was a collection of absract art filed under movement and extention of oneself. I diligently read through the descriptions of each piece. Some expressed uninterpretability by being just this one thing, hoping that it would precisely convey its message (forgetting the whole purpose of the white description cards next to it). Others was hoping to bring out certain meaning through textures. But some, I just couldn’t figure out what in the world was it about. All there was were mere scatches of the brush on a canvas. I read the description and chance it another look. Nothing. This was two.

At this point I started to wonder if contemporary artists are just very good bullshitters. They’d put together something and just give it an interesting back story like how the black symbolises the uncertainty of the artist when he produced this particular painting.

To be honest I enjoyed the first exhibit and parts of the second one. But pieces with just incomprehensible meaning goes straight over my head, presumably to the person standing behind me thoughtfully nodding at the piece.

I then hopped out of the second exhibit and headed to a screening of an interview with an artist whose art I never saw. I assumed it would be at the paid section at this point. He had classical art training and was at some point renowned as the person that paints photographs. He then continues to say that he feels the realistic renditions his hands created lack a certain essence of finality. It didn’t feel complete. Then it struck him, destroy the image. He did it by adding paint and using a flat perspex and smearing the paint over the art. The result was a blur with the original art faintly poking through beneath the layers of smudged paint. Somehow I understood what he was getting at, the viewer paints the rest of the picture with their imagination while faint hints guide their way. ‘I like it’ I thought.

But his reply to a question about why he decided to make ‘sculptures’ (or objects as he calls them), given he was an artist, really struck me.

“Why not?”

The interviewer was taken aback as well, expecting some deep sophisticated meaning behind the layers of glass panels he decided to line up together.

“Why not? I wanted to, so I did it. (obviously paraphasing here)”

Then I think I got a glimpse into what abstract art really should be. It is what the artist wanted to make at the time or the emotion that guided the hand of the artist that then guided the paint whichever way; Not some arbitrarily assigned meaning to a piece.

Following this mini-epiphany that I obviously didn’t bother getting a second opinion of, I proceeded to plough through the other two exhibits without giving attention to the plastic descriptions next to them, save for a few I found interesting. At the end of it all, I wondered while resting my protesting legs.

Why are there so many people here?

What is it that brings these people to this place and go ‘Yeah its like, a flower, I like it,’ when all I see are brush scratches?

I kept thinking to myself what could be going on in their heads.

Is this some kind of european-western culture that I don’t get?

Are these what you call artistically inclined people? OhShelookspretty.

Is this how they get funding to continue having such exhibits?

How is there even a members section? Do people really come that regularly?

Its so tiring, whats attracting them?

Tate Modern looks like an architectural middle finger from the southbank to the northbank.

Why?

Why?

Why?

Is this art insanity? Or ART in sanity? Either way, I’m baffled by this sanARTity.

sanARTity

Windows 10 on a Mac (early-2014 Air)

I have been geeking around this past two days trying to see if I could get Windows 10 running on my Mac. What I found is quite interesting… 001Volia! Windows 10 on my MacBook Air! On an external Hdd no less. Here’s a picture in case you aren’t quite sold yet. IMG_20150630_130826 Alright! let’s start!


How do you get Windows 10 on a Mac?

*** Understand that you are doing this at your own risk. You are responsible for your actions which includes any data loss caused by failure to backup or turning your mac into a paperweight.***

*** Note that Windows 10 is still under Technical Preview so you are essentially beta testing Windows for Microsoft. There will be data sent back to Microsoft, you may read their Privacy Statement here for more details. If you are uncomfortable with this please avoid installing Windows 10 for now.

** On the other hand, if you are chill with it you get to keep Windows 10 for free (if you continue to update it), but you will have to continue to be their beta tester well after launch.

Prerequisites

Before we start, there are a few things one must have (or should at least try to have)

  1. A UEFI-compatible Mac (early-2014 MackBook Airs work great)
    • MacBook Air (mid-2013 and later)
    • iMac (late-2013 and later)
    • Retina MacBook Pro (late-2013 and later)
    • Mac Pro (trashcan shape)
    • Mac Mini (late-2014 and later)
    • Non-retina MBPs are not UEFI compatible.
  2. Bootcamp (Should come with your Mac)
  3. A USB flash drive with at least 4 GB capacity that you are willing to sacrifice to the Bootcamp Gods.
  4. A copy of Windows in iso format (preferably Windows 8)
  5. A copy of Windows 10 Preview iso (which you can get here) | **Optional**
  6. An external hard disk drive (USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt) | **Optional**

** Please backup the files inside your USB flash drive and your external hard disk to a safe place before proceeding.

There are a number of ways of getting Windows on mac, but here are two more manageable methods that depends on what you have and want to achieve.

Method 1 : Bootcamp

This method is for those of you who:

  • Feel that your Mac has too much storage to spare.

METHOD 2 : command line, a copy of windows and a whole lot of waiting

This method is for those of you who:

  • Don’t fall into method 1 but owns an external hard disk that supports USB 3.0 or connects through the Thunderbolt Port.
  • Are crazy adventurous
  • Have loads of free time (half a day at least)

** If you don’t fall into any of the above groups, this guide probably isn’t for you but you can read it then bookmark it incase you fall into either one of those categories in the future.

*** Or you can make your own criteria and fit yourself into one of the two categories above.


Method 1 : Bootcamp

First, we need to set up a few things.

  1. Make sure you have backed up everything in your USB flash drive, as it will be sacrificed to the Bootcamp-Gods to make a bootable USB.
  2. Copy the Windows 10 iso to anywhere on your mac.
  3. Plug in your USB flash drive.
  4. Start Bootcamp and make sure ‘Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk’ and ‘Install Windows 7 or later version’ is checked.
  5. Point it to your Windows 10 iso file and make sure that you are installing to the correct USB flash drive.
  6. Confirm that you are chill that your USB flash drive will be erased and chill.
  7. Once the whole waiting thing is done, it will ask you to choose your partition size for Windows and OSX. Drag it around to roughly 30 GB or more depending on what you will use it for. Click Install to proceed.
  8. Follow all the on screen instructions for your respective Windows version

** Your Mac will restart a few times so please do not freak out. It’s just Windows installing itself.

*** This method works with Windows 8 and Windows 7 as well, so go crazy and choose whichever you like.

Method 2 : The wishful

We all wish we have huge-ass SSDs for our Macs but alas it is not to be. Hence, we dream. We dream to put Windows elsewhere, anywhere than on our internal storage. Here’s how we do it.

Due to some changes in the new Windows 10 preview builds, we can’t install Windows 10 directly using this method. Hence I have decided to use a two step process of installing Windows 8, then upgrading to Windows 10.

Part 1: Prepping

This is to save time and make sure things go efficiently. Follow step 1 to 6 from Method 1 (only do this if you want to install Windows 10). Exit Bootcamp after step 6 is complete. While waiting, move on to part 2.

Part 2: Installing windows 8

This is the tedious part. Please proceed with care and caution.

First, connect your external hard disk drive to a Windows environment. This can either be in a Virtual Machine on your Mac through apps like Parallels, Vbox and VMWare or an existing Windows PC. (I would recommend waiting till Bootcamp is done if you plan on using a VM)

Open your Windows 8 iso file. Go to \sources and look for ‘install.wim’. Copy the file to C:\WIN2GO (or whatever folder name you fancy) on your Windows environment.

Start up the Command Line on Windows as admin. You can do this by asking Google Sensei for your respective version of Windows. Type in the following in the Command Line.

diskpart
list disk

Take note of the external drive number you want to install windows on.

You can check by running the command ‘list disk’ before you insert your external drive, then running it again after you insert your drive. The drive that just popped up on the second time is your external drive. Note the drive number.

Assuming our drive is listed as Disk 1, continue by typing the following (do not type the stuff in brackets):

select disk 1 
clean (this will remove everything on the drive)
convert gpt 

**stop here and skip to the end of Part 3 if you use a Thunderbolt drive**

create partition EFI size=100 
format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI 
assign letter=S 
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other label name) 
assign letter=O
exit

** if you don’t want to dedicate the rest of your drive to windows and would like to keep some parts for storing other stuff between Mac and Windows, substitute the above steps with below.

create partition EFI size=100 
format quick fs=fat32 label=EFI 
assign letter=S 
create partition primary size=204800 
format fs=ntfs quick label=W2G (or any other label name) 
assign letter=O

This (‘size=204800’) creates a 200GB partition. You may vary its size down to a minimum of 30GB (Windows takes up 24GB, so give yourself some breathing room).

create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick label=Storage
assign letter=N
exit

Here it uses up the rest of your storage space to make another partition which you can save your files into. Feel free to change to label.

You may also change the size by adding the ‘size=[insert size here in MB]’ to the end of the first line and repeat to create as many partitions as you want.


Back in your command line (make sure its running as administrator), type:

dism /apply-image /imagefile:C:\WIN2GO\install.wim /index:1 
/applydir:O:\ (**this is one single line**)

O:\Windows\System32\bcdboot O:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI

Once you’re done (and Bootcamp is done), restart your Mac with the external drive plugged in. After the chime (near the end) hold down the Option(alt) key and select drive called ‘EFI’ then boot.

Please do not leave your computer’s side at this step

It will run you through the Windows 8 installation setup. Your Mac will reboot several times. Each time it reboots, make sure to press the Option(alt) key and boot into the ‘EFI’ drive to continue the installation.

Once the Windows 8 installation is complete, move on to part 3.

** If your goal is to have Windows 8 then you may stop here. Skip to After Installing.

Part 3 : Windows 10 Preview

Remember that bootable Windows USB flash drive that we created with Bootcamp? Time to put it into action.

Connect your USB drive into your Mac (running Windows 8) and look for a setup.exe on the root folder, this is the Windows 10 setup executable. Run setup.exe and a new window will popup. Follow the instructions given and you will be presented with a new kind of installation screen.

Each time it finishes a section it will reboot so the same rules from before still apply. Hold down the Option(alt) key after the chime at each reboot.

Once everything is done, you have your flashy new Windows 10 running on your Macbook!

Thunderbolt drive users

Just plug in your Thunderbolt drive into the Thunderbolt port. Plug in your bootable Windows USB flash drive and reboot your mac. Press the Option(alt) key after the chime and boot your Windows setup from there.

Windows recognises drives connected to the thunderbolt ports as PCIE based drives so you can just select it in the installation directory. Again, your Mac will reboot several times, the above rules apply.

AFTER installing

First tall order of the day is to install your Bootcamp drivers found in your Windows bootable USB under \bootcamp\drivers and run the setup.exe

Your screen my turn black but do not freak out, it’s installing display drivers. Your Mac may restart upon finishing.


Referenced:
yjchua95 on MacRumours forum : link

Now you know how to install Windows on a Mac! Give yourself a big pat on the back if you survived the crazy long step of installing Windows 8. Enjoy your Windows 10/8/whatever!


Windows 10 on a Mac (early-2014 Air)

A Mini-Japan in Sunway

I am currently enjoying a donut in SMR Starbucks and having my whole being blasted by a breeze that would make the Starks shiver (Yes I’m contemplating to initiate the ritual of GoT watching) while writing this. But today was rather eventful and filled with self-deception but lets start from the beginning.

Finals is next Monday and I decided the night before…

I shall go to Uni to study (I study at Monash), maybe Sunway (University). I should remember to bring my broadband dongle… ZzZzzz…

I eventually sat down on my favourite spot in the New Building Library, took out my laptop and tablet then proceeded to grope around in my bag for my broadband dongle. It wasn’t there. Why am I not surprised. So decided to head to Monash hoping that the library would be open but… NO.

*・ ゚゚・*:.。..。.:*・ ゚(n‘Д‘)η゚・*:.。. .。.:*・ ゚゚・*

A little adventure to Pyramid was in order, I took the newly built BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). The bus was soo cute, it reminded me of the buses in Kyoto (It was just as packed as well).

Hence, I shall start my tutorial on HOW TO EXPERIENCE A MINI JAPAN IN SUNWAY.

Step 1: Get on the BRT

Preferably a packed bus. This is an essential first move as this is analogous to Japanese buses on rush hour.

If a packed bus is not your thing, then go for whichever order of bus-entropy you prefer and enjoy the empty roads and smooth bus ride while imagining all the voices around you are Japanese.

20150606142303

Step 2: Stop at the Lagoon station

Upon leaving the station proceed to traverse the canopy walk to Sunway Pyramid. While doing so, imagine you are walking the streets of Japan (or the underground arcade next to the subway stations). You would enter into an area that is surrounded by Japanese shops. Turn right and choose your choice of Japanese drink and waffle ice-cream from Shojikiya.

IMG_20150606_132438 IMG_20150606_132659

Step 2.5: Scratch off the english labels on the products.

Do this for maximum Japanese immersion.

IMG_20150606_151108

Step 3: Head over to Popular

Pick your choice of nice looking notebook. Either get one with Japanese characters on the front or alternatively, Chinese characters. We can just assume the latter is written in kanji and should not make sense in Chinese.

IMG_20150606_142021

Step 4 (Optional): Head over to a Japanese Restaurant and enjoy some authentic Japanese food (Omelette rice is a good option, also Okonomiyaki)

If your belly is craving food, what’s a better place than a Japanese restaurant?

IMG_20150604_135220

Step 5: Head back again on a BRT bus

Provide closure to your mini-Japan trip by sitting on the same vehicle that provided that inspiration and feel in the first place before walking back into the bleak, hot and inconvenient world ( or a cold one if you ended up in SMR Starbucks ).

And there you have it! A (maximum) 5 step tutorial to a mini-Japan experience in Sunway. I shall update if I find any other mini-Japan-worthy experiences in the future.

A Mini-Japan in Sunway